Author: Jack Keilo ( Jacques Keilo )

Martin Luther in Rome: Piazza Martin Lutero in the Eternal centre

“Lutero voleva rinnovare la Chiesa, non dividerla” “Luther wanted to renew the Church, not to divide it” (Pope Francis to the Finnish Lutheran delegation, 19th January 2017)   We leave theology to theologians, what interests us here is spatial and central: the Piazza Martin Lutero near the Colosseum, in the centre…

Polls off-centre, US presidential elections

Mr Trump and Ms Clinton, photo from The Guardian The application of the law of large numbers and long periods to politics or history signifies nothing less than the wilful obliteration of their very subject matter, and it is a hopeless enterprise to search for meaning in politics or significance…

Peutinger Map, all roads lead to Rome… and to Caesar?

“Mille viae ducunt homines per saecula Romam” “Ubi  Caesar, ibi Roma” (Old Roman proverbs)   FIGURE 1. Tabula Peutingeriana or Tabula Theodosiana, a Roman map All roads lead to Rome, to the centre, to the political centre. This Roman principle is well known and today present throughout the world. The centre…

Peutinger Map, all roads lead to Rome… and to Caesar?

“Mille viae ducunt homines per saecula Romam” “Ubi  Caesar, ibi Roma” (Old Roman proverbs)   FIGURE 1. Tabula Peutingeriana or Tabula Theodosiana, a Roman map All roads lead to Rome, to the centre, to the political centre. This Roman principle is well known and today present throughout the world. The centre…

Madam Secretary, and the Crimea to Moscow?

Madam Secretary is one of the enjoyable TV series. Recently the show had a great guest: Madeleine Albright, “real” ex-Madam Secretary of State and a distinguished politician of President B. Clinton’s Administration. The presence of M. Albright is also a sign that Madam Secretary is not far from seats of power…

Magellan’s itinerary, the Jesuits, and the centre around the North Pole

  “While the map is never the reality, in such ways it helps to create a different reality. Once embedded in the published text the lines on the map acquire an authority that may be hard to dislodge.” (J. B. Harley, Deconstructing the Map) The Ship Victoria’s Journey, a map…

Paris, Fluctuat nec mergitur

Quand Paris s’enrhume, l’Europe prend froid (“When Paris sneezes, Europe catches a cold“, Prince Klemens von Metternich) The coat of arms of Paris Paris is hit for a second time in 2015, and this time the victims are way more numerous than the first time. After the tragic events related…

Justinian for a political legitimacy of Beirut

Haec autem tria volumina a nobis composita tradi eis tam in regiis urbibus quam in Berytiensium pulcherrima civitate, quam et legum nutricem bene quis appellet, , tantummodo volumus, quod iam et a retro principibus constitutum est, et non in aliis locis quae a maioribus tale non meruerint privilegium. (These three works…

Justinian for a political legitimacy of Beirut

Haec autem tria volumina a nobis composita tradi eis tam in regiis urbibus quam in Berytiensium pulcherrima civitate, quam et legum nutricem bene quis appellet, , tantummodo volumus, quod iam et a retro principibus constitutum est, et non in aliis locis quae a maioribus tale non meruerint privilegium. (These three works…

“Leo Hollandicus” of Visscher, The Centre and the Name

(…) All these considerations give us more than sufficient reason to renounce the King of Spain, and seek some other powerful and more gracious prince to take us under his protection. (…) Dated in our assembly at The Hague, the Six and Twentieth day of July, 1581, indorsed by the…

“Leo Hollandicus” of Visscher, The Centre and the Name

(…) All these considerations give us more than sufficient reason to renounce the King of Spain, and seek some other powerful and more gracious prince to take us under his protection. (…) Dated in our assembly at The Hague, the Six and Twentieth day of July, 1581, indorsed by the…

Continuity of the Centre: "Point Zéro" de la France

"Au mois d'avril 1768, le chapitre de Notre-Dame de Paris a fait placer dans son parvis, au pied de la tour septentrionale de son église, une pierre triangulaire, du milieu de laquelle sort un poteau chargé de ses armes. C'est de là, comme d'un centre commun, que l'on commencera à…

L’invention des continents of Grataloup, how the centre invents its periphery

Christian Grataloup, 2009, L’invention des continent, Comment l’Europe a découpé le Monde, Larousse. Christian Grataloup writes with passion: his scientific books are as great to read as poetry or beautiful prose, and the L’invention des continents is no exception: it is a journey to discover how Europe has made the actual “parts”…

Hereford Map, Jerusalem again as centre and the Translatio Imperii

  “Thus says the LORD God: This is Jerusalem; I have set her in the centre of the nations, with countries all around her.” (Ezekiel 5:5) We have seen Bunting’s Map in a precedent post, a renaissance map where the world is centred on Jerusalem in a symbolic way, that is,…

Big New York, Little Syria

It is to stand before the towers of New York and Washington, Chicago and San Francisco saying in your heart, “I am the descendant of a people that builded Damascus and Byblos, and Tyre and Sidon and Antioch, and now I am here to build with you, and with a…

A “Sunday of four popes”, Todo Cambia

  “Anybody can be Pope; the proof of this is that I have become one.” (Pope John XXIII)   A rare event happened last Sunday, Urbi et Orbi: Pope Francis, in presence of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, is canonizing two of their predecessors in the Petrine Ministry: popes John XXIII ‘the good…